My son is mad at me. He's starting high school this year and I'm making him take Debate. It's my rule…each of the kids will be FORCED to take at least one year of debate. It's my secret desire that they'll fall in love with it and stick to it for their entire high school career.

I can't guarantee that, but I can make them take the one year. And I know they'll be better people for it….they'll learn to speak in front of a group, think on their feet, analyze information, research, organize, articulate an argument and a host of other 'things' that I learned from debate.

My son, though, only sees that I'm making him do something he doesn't want to do. So he slumped into ONW this afternoon for debate camp, and he didn't make any pretense about how he felt about being there.

I was fascinated, though. Before the event formally started some of the experienced kids came in to chat with the novice kids. The experienced kids…what can I say, they reminded me of the debate people I knew and loved 'back in the day'. One kid in particular–very sure of himself, cocky, and cracked himself up. His 'partner', less sure of himself but sly and witty.